What is a Misleading Graph Discussion
Misleading Graphs Discussion

Teacher: On average how many hours do you spend: sleeping, eating, studying, at school, playing outside, watching TV, doing chores, and working on your homework.

Students: Answer question.

Teacher: Listens to the student responses. Then displays an example set of data.

May I get a couple of volunteers to display this data on the board in a bargraph?

Students: Draw a couple of non-misleading graphs on the board.

Teacher: Excellent! Now, can someone tell me how they might alter these graphs to make it appear at first glance that all this person does is sleep and goto school? The only catch is you can't lie.

Students: Try to alter the graphs.

Teacher: Good job! Here's what I came up with.

Can someone tell me how I altered this graph?

Students: Answer question.

Teacher: Did I lie in any way?

Students: Answer question.

Teacher: No, I did not. All I did was change what portion of the data the graph viewer is able to see. If I were trying to sell you a product and there was something I did not want you to see, do you really think I would show you non-misleading information? Or do you think I might try to make my data look as favorable for my product as I can?

Student: Well, if you are trying to sell something you will probably try to make your product look as goord as possible.

Teacher: Correct! And that's what we are going to be doing today!